Today kicked off with a lecture in Equity and Trusts and a little pop quiz that had totally skipped my mind, surprising I knew more than I thought but should be better prepared for next week. Afterwards, we look at two of the three certainties. Intention & Subject Matter (with Objects being the third). When it comes to intention, I put on my philosophers’ hat, due to our analysis of what do these words mean. Essentially, it was analytic philosophy-lite. To explain let’s look at mandatory obligation, which says that in the event of death it must be explicit that the person wants a trust to be formed, not precatory words (words of desires and prayer). The use of the word trust is not helpful, as I could say: “I trust that X does give an annual allowance to Y”. Trust here is a hope, not an obligation. And if you want an obligation, then be clear. The takeaway point is when writing your will don’t use sweet words and frivolous language. Be blunt. You are dead. Think of it as giving people more time to mourn over you, rather than fight over your possessions. Be self-centred, even in death. Otherwise, it’s up to the interpretation of what is your intentions (hence analytic-lite ). We then looked at the Subject Matter. The reduction is this: is it clear what we are talking about. What do certain words mean if I say: “ The majority should go to A and the rest B”, is it 50.1% or 99.9%? The rule is from Hancock and Watson which further points towards being clear. We then went over segregation of tangible property and intangible property. I also wish to take a quick note that when it involves financial problems, commercial law has been presented to take precedence over equity. Why? I think we can take a hint from public law. If parliament is sovereign, then those who pay for parliament probably matter more than what is just (in the eyes of parliament).
Then I was back to Tort law. We continued with a duty to care, but with a distinctive look at how this affects public authorities. While the content of the lecturer was engaging, it did bring out some of my greatest fear learning law. Going through case by case, by case, by case. We are looking at the progression of law and each step in its evolution. I’m not saying that this is futile, or wrong, it makes perfect logical sense. However, coming from a social science background, we could just say the final (or current) outcome and have a footnote concerning someone else going through the hassle of proving the evolution of the idea. Looks as though I have some adapting to do. Regarding the content, of public authorities. Courts don’t want you to sue them or place duties onto them because then it takes away money from the authority to do its job. E.g. if you sue the police and say they were negligent, you receive damages, those damages could have been used to prevent another crime. So if you want to take the police or another public body to court, the best bet is the human rights act by the looks of it. Though I wouldn’t take legal advice from the internet.